Ron Paul's Truther Madness
Republican fringe candidate Ron Paul continues to set the standard for political loopiness in what is already a pretty loopy year. Recently in a video-taped encounter with a member of a 9/11 conspiracy group called "We Are Change", Mr. Paul was quoted as follows:
Question: Okay, and one more question. Why don’t you come out and tell the truth about 9/11?
This surely ranks as one of the more bizarre statements made by an American politician in this or any year. To hear the three-time Presidential candidate tell it, he's worried less about the malign power of the U.S. government than by his exhaustion in confronting it. Forget personal safety or righting great wrongs – it's all about Paul's lack of B vitamins. What would Mulder and Scully do?
Count us in commentator Mark Steyn's corner when he questions the worldview of the Texas congressman and obstetrician, who placed third in the Iowa caucus and second in the New Hampshire primary:
This, by the way, is not an irrelevant thing, because it gets to the heart, to the most disfiguring aspect of Ron Paul’s campaign, leaving aside his unpleasantness to Michele Bachmann the other night, and all the rest of it, which is this stunted parochialism. Let’s say, for a moment, that 9/11 was an inside job. Does that also mean, then, that the Bali nightclub bombing was an inside job, that the Madrid train bombings was an inside job, that the Beslan school shootings were an inside job, that the London Tube bombings were an inside job? ... This is a kind of utopian isolationism that fantasists on the right have embraced. And at its darkest side, it meets the left coming round the other way in 9/11 truther conspiracy theories.
While his acolytes will heatedly disagree, we think the 2012 campaign spells the end of Paul's political career. Too much light has been shed on his toxic mix of naivete, extremism, and tin-foil cluelessnes for the American electorate to sign off on him. After 2008's bitter harvest, retrenchment and caution are a far likelier outcome than another bold leap into the dark. That can only bode ill for Paul, even if he holds sensible views on such things as the size of government and the role of the Federal Reserve. Recent revelations of administrative bungling at his newsletter don't help either. Mark Steyn again:
... When a guy says, you know, he signs off on a Martin Luther King had sex with underage boys, and then he says oh, I don’t know how that got into my newsletter, it must be some unpaid intern, I mean, if, for example, at www.steynonline.com, or www.hughhewitt.com, a statement to the effect that Martin Luther King was having sex with underage buys appeared, and you or I said oh, we’ve no idea how that got up there, I’m a busy chap, can’t possibly be expected to take note of everything that appears there, whether you believe me or not, you would at least have been had it confirmed to you that if I can’t run even a small, modest publishing enterprise, I shouldn’t be entrusted with the government of the United States.
Americans are still coming to grips with the anti-Americanism of President Obama, and are in the process of rejecting it. A collective gag reflex is spreading in the land for a strain of political thought – Obama's – which for all its bitterness is far sweeter than that offered by Ron Paul. Commentator Hugh Hewitt hits the nail on the head when he says:
Pro-American voters cannot vote for Ron Paul because he has now put on full display his dark assessment of the Republic, every bit as paranoid and accusation-filled as the most adamant 9/11 Truther. It is in my mind disqualifying for high office of any sort to indulge these fanatics, and that is what he did. He might be more than an enabler of the truthers –he might believe as many of them do that the American government brought down the Towers a decade ago killing 3,000 Americans. Or perhaps he believes the Jews did it, or the Bilderbergers. No matter. He did not denounce the fever so we have to assume he believes the fever has a legitimate source or that he himself has the fever.
Polls in South Carolina now show Paul running a distant third, behind a surging Mitt Romney and a weakened Newt Gingrich. If the primary results next week are even a rough approximation, they will surely spell the beginning of the end for Ron Paul.